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Music Notation Computer Software Recommendations

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Apr 5, 2020 - 11:08:17 AM



675 posts since 4/12/2004
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I'm looking for recommendations for music notation software. I'm currently using Finale Notepad, which is freeware, but I'm looking for something that's easy to use, but has a bit more capability. I'm looking to create melody lines, with lyrics and chord names added and have the ability to transpose both the notation and the chord names.

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 04/05/2020 11:22:04

Apr 5, 2020 - 11:21:41 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


24261 posts since 8/3/2003

You might want to look at Tabledit. It's not free but you can download Tefview to see if you like it. It has musical notation and various instrument tabulation abilities along with a midi to hear what you've created. Go here for Tefview: and here for the complete package of Tabledit:

And I'm moving your post to the tab forum where more people will see it who are familiar with the question you are asking about.

Also, you cannot post on the Swap Shop unless you have a classified ad on the Hangout. 

Edited by - Texasbanjo on 04/05/2020 11:22:34

Apr 5, 2020 - 12:10:03 PM

10789 posts since 4/23/2004

I have switched from TablEdit to Musescore. As a longtime TablEdit user, I found Musescore simply better all around. The data entry is quicker/easier and the Tab generation is (for the most part) better, esp. for 4 and 5-string banjo. Of course, they both take some training and time in the seat.

Neither will transpose the chord names (text is a separate thing). Both transpose the notes quite easily...and Musescore does it about a dozen different ways.

The "Look" of the finished product is better in Musescore also. However, sometimes it is more difficult to get everything to fit properly...perhaps a bit too much user control there.

Both have excellent forums for help, online training, etc.

Musescore is freeware. TablEdit requires a one-time payment.

Apr 5, 2020 - 12:15:28 PM
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1091 posts since 4/24/2003

Musescore will do what you want. Once chords are entered above the notation, they will change according to transposing. There are several options in choosing a method for transposing. It's free although the latest version has a few bugs. I use version 2.3.2 for Windows XP and it is quite stable.


Apr 5, 2020 - 12:54:37 PM

76 posts since 4/8/2019

I'll add another recommendation for Musescore. I am a music editor and specialty publisher, and I was over Finale (and its massive submenus) long ago despite the fact that it's the industry standard. I have been slowly transitioning to Musescore and appreciating its versatility and ease of use, and support is fabulous as well.

Apr 5, 2020 - 12:58:37 PM



1091 posts since 4/24/2003

Here are a couple of screen shots showing results of a transposition up a major second. Note how the chord names changed accordingly.


Edited by - MickG on 04/05/2020 12:59:53

Apr 5, 2020 - 1:21:59 PM
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675 posts since 4/12/2004
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Thanks to all for such quick responses to my inquiry. I'm already using Tabledit for creation of tablatures, but I downloaded and installed Musescore, and it appears to have what I'm looking, plus a lot more.

Apr 5, 2020 - 1:41:13 PM

3927 posts since 11/29/2005

Originally posted by RB3

Thanks to all for such quick responses to my inquiry. I'm already using Tabledit for creation of tablatures, but I downloaded and installed Musescore, and it appears to have what I'm looking, plus a lot more.

Wayne, you are aware that Tabledit also does notation, are you not?  You can input tab and have an output of notation or vice-versa, or you can have both tab & notation appear on the same page.  I've sometimes set a tab up this way when I was inputting it, and then used either the tab stave or the notation stave, sometimes confusing myself.

Apr 5, 2020 - 3:14:54 PM

10691 posts since 6/2/2008

TablEdit also handles lyrics keyed to a melody line. Here's how. It requires assigning a separate instrument module to the melody. A little bit of extra work, but it's there.

Apr 5, 2020 - 3:49:47 PM

1744 posts since 2/10/2013

If you want to create standard music notation, Finale's "Printmusic" is the application for you. First of all, it is less expensive than the more expensive version sold by Finale. It has the best "help" documentation you will ever find. The software does much more than the average musicians will need. The midi files produced by Printmusic were upgraded a few years back and sound better than any other midi generating software I have used.

If someone ever sells tabulature software that is comparable to Printmusic's musical notation software I will buy the application.

Apr 6, 2020 - 4:33:43 AM

531 posts since 8/14/2018

Related earlier thread

Apr 6, 2020 - 6:02:29 AM



213 posts since 10/25/2007

Thanks to this thread, I've downloaded musescore and I'm playing with it. I've figured out how to open guitar and banjo tablature, presumably in standard tuning.
Marc, you've said you use it for 4 string banjo, I'm interested in that, and mandolin in GDAE tuning. Where do I look for that, and/or different tuning?

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